Whats your main task of the day?
I’m mostly always Back-End programming (Java, SQL, Shell Scripting, Automation), Financial Mathematics and the marriage of the two.
What do you like about your job?
I couldn’t have picked a more appropriate role for myself in any profession. It’s a wonderful thing that I can apply the two lines of thought (Mathematics & Software Development) that I have spent years studying, and am passionate about. In that sense I feel quite lucky to have been one of the first in the door at AQMetrics.
Did you have any role models throughout your journey through STEM?
I could only filter this response down to three people – two bosses and a supervisor. I worked for a company, roughly 15 years back during summer holidays from school, called Voltech, who built apparatus for physics laboratories. Although this company is no longer in existence, the CEO at the time was a towering intellect who essentially took me under his wing and mentored me during my time there. I went from having practically zero interest in science, to knowing I would undertake a Science degree in college.
I also need to credit my supervisor during my research masters as an extremely influential character on my career path to date. He had a mathematical rigor the likes that I had never encountered before. This definitely left a lasting impression on me and I’d like to say rubbed off on me too.
Lastly, I would say my current boss and CEO has influenced me greatly. Both in terms of my character and my style of code writing. One of the first things I recall observing in AQMetrics, was our CEO’s natural ability to write excellent SQL very quickly. This certainly led me to find the same strength in myself. She has also helped mould my character into a more professional and well-rounded one since I joined.
Can you manage a good work/life balance in your current career?
The hours that I work are favourable in terms of balancing work with my home life. I would be home by 6:30pm most days, leaving my evenings open. There is also a gym right next door to the office, which is a bonus.
I’d also treat writing code as a personal hobby, so I would often find myself at home in the evenings tinkering around with one problem or another from that particular day in the office. I have a keen interest in music, having taught the guitar, receiving a grade 8 in piano and having my voice classically trained for several years.
What has been the most useful aspect of your education?
As much as my study of Mathematics has and continues to benefit my current role as a quantitative analytics developer, the postgraduate diploma I sat in Computer Science has proven most beneficial to me. In particular, the data manipulation using object orientated languages such as Java has been the most useful.
The complexity of what one does at college level, will never compare to what is expected in a real world production environment, it definitely gave me a solid foundation to build upon.
If a student wanted to gain work experience in this area, what advice would you give them?
Work experience in any software start-up will more often than not prove more beneficial to an intern than sitting their placement in a big firm. As a member of a start-up company, interns are usually given more responsibility than those at well-established firms, often contributing to more.
As far as the type of software company to target for work experience, I would say anything from data mining to web design to the obvious fin-tech companies such as AQMetrics. Every software company will have roles which extend the entire stack, to Dev-Ops, testing and automation roles.